Cipher | Half Acre Beer Company

Liked This Beer
3.67 w/ 55 ratings

Brewed by:
Half Acre Beer Company
Illinois, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by MasterSki on 02-08-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 55 |  Reviews: 20
Photo of beernads
2.75/5  rDev -25.1%

Photo of jegross2
3/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of OGunner77
3/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of Sean9689
3.11/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at Fountainhead for the Half Acre/Perennial Event.

A - Pours a clear golden yellow color, fluffy off-white head, wisps.

S - Belgian yeast notes, spices, light hops, grass. Very clean and straight forward to the style.

T - Light hops, yeast character, grass, light sugary sweetness.

M - Light body, good carbonation, clean finish.

O - Not the best Belgian Pale I've had, but not terrible. Pretty forgetful and not something I'd purchase nor try again.

 463 characters

Photo of slemkuil
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of geoffsm12
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of BRami127
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of wfcubsfan
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of quirkzoo
3.27/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to rmalinowski for this extra.

Golden yellow with 1 finger of soda like head that recedes quickly.

Holy Belgian Yeast Batman. Tons of cloves and spices, bright citrus fruits, not much else discernible. Pleasant but a bit one note.

Again pretty one note with lots of Belgian yeast and a dry minerality.

Light mouthfeel, very drinkable.

Nice light Belgian but after you scratch the surface there isn't too much complexity.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.33/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear, pilsner like pale yellow color. Steady bubbling, good head, and full on film o' foam for all twenty two ounces.

Clean, dry yeasty fruit with a little lightly toasted pils malt. Astringent hop profile. Maybe Saaz or Styrian hops aroma.

After some warming up, there's still some tinny mouthfeel hanging around this brew. Lightly toasted pils, dry Belgiuan yeasty, fruity flavors. Pretty light fruity, yeast flavors. A little warm on the lingering finish. Nice and crisp, yet dry yeasty palate. But there's a little warmth from the abv. that lingers after each sip.

 573 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.45/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A peruse of the beer aisle starts to look like a fourth grade techno-junkie's weekend project with a quilt work pattern of grid, angular, and neon catches my eye. I guess I'm a sucker for obnoxious beer labels.

As most American brewed, Belgian-style blonde ales do, Half Acres' pours with a tarnish straw color and the expected yeasty haze. A creamy head forms a semi-dense head of absolute white foam that retains well with adequate lace, but shyly demonstrates the authentic rocky structure and withstanding of traditional Belgian versions.

Distinctly Belgian, wheaty, and yeasty as the aromatic profile plays out with estery fruits that seem almost banana with papaya, plantain, and southern pawpaws. Balancing scent of spicy clove and coriander seep into the bready notes of light light baking bread, candied grain, honey suckle and overall floral character. An almost-brine scent rises and reminds me of latex and copper and offers an unsettled intrigue.

All those supple and whimsical notes return in flavor for a sweetish tone of honey, biscuit, restrained caramel, and saccharine then followed closely by the spices of white pepper, clove, celery seed, straw, mulled grass, salt and soap. Met with an odd peppery and meaty character that oddly reminds me of electrical tape and ham causes me to take pause but doesn't deter me from returning to the next sip.

Creamy and medium textured (perhaps robust for the style), the beer's timid fullness endures through mid palate and into an extended finish of tardy semi-dryness and peppery bite to finish. The aftertaste of fruit and spice seems more of an evaporated aroma than a taste.

Rustic yet characterful, this verbose Belgian blonde ale gathers a range of taste that's normally avoided in the style but are somehow delivered in fairly pleasant light in this quirky rendition. Good job Half Acre!

 1,859 characters

Photo of MasterSki
3.49/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle picked up by AgentZero - thanks bro! Served in a flute glass at Stella's spiffy Oscar party.

A - Voluminous white foam settles to a thick cap, leaving behind splotchy lace. Transparent golden body with visible streams of tiny bubbles.

S - Phenolic Belgian yeast, with some spicy and peppery qualities to it as well. Very low sweetness, with some toasted grains, perhaps some wheat, and minimal hop presence.

T - Taste is a touch sweeter, with some stone fruits mingling with the prevailing Belgian yeast and grain character. I think there's a bit more balance here.

M - Smooth, medium body, with lower carbonation and minimal alcohol. Somewhat juicy, with a long lingering finish.

D - Pretty easy drinking beer, but nothing really special or mind-blowing (other than the cool label art). Still, no major flaws and a solid Belgian offering from Half Acre.

 866 characters

Photo of Beezee
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of TMoney2591
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a shaker pint glass.

Thanks to taiyed for sharing this bottle!

Gotta love a bottle o' beer that challenges you mentally while you drink its contents... This stuff pours a very lightly hazy golden straw topped by over a finger of white froth. The nose comprises banana peel, clove, wet wheat, light toffee, very light buttery biscuit, and a touch of cashew. The taste follows fairly closely, but there's a stronger sense of vague sweetness now, and this clashes with the Belgian yeast, creating a somewhat strangely nigh-funky flavor on the tongue that just doesn't sit well with me. The wheat and toffee come through strongly, along with heavy amounts of clove and black pepper. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda dry finish. Overall, an alright beer, but one that suffers from a disconnect between the yeast and the rest of the beer. Just didn't do it for me...

 927 characters

Photo of RTrain12
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of JVan
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of mcallister
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light straw colored with a medium bodied white head. Good retention with spotty lacing.

Aromas of chalk, rock candy, belgian yeast, black pepper, some clove and bubblegum phenols as well. An almost barnyard character as well like it's a bit "shitty".

Phenolics come through nicely, some toasty malts, light noble hops on the finish, a bit grassy with rounded belgian yeast ester and belgian spices. An odd off flavor on the finish and long after that really messes things up. Otherwise a nice beer. More like a triple or blonde than a BSPA.

 542 characters

Photo of thewimperoo
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My wife grabbed this for me in Chicago. Enjoyed on 5.20.12

A - Pours a hazy, light honey-orange with a one inch near-white head. Solid retention.

S - Light Belgian yeast comes through and some subtle lemony citrus.

T - Lemons and Belgian spices, just as it should be.

D - Good carbonation and a light body.

O - Good Belgian-style without being overly spicy.

 362 characters

Photo of Agold
3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a perfectly clear golden color with a very short white head that has pretty nice retention, but leaves no lacing at all. Aroma is pretty spicy and phenolic with some aromas that are grassy or vegetal. Not bad, but nothing outstanding. Flavor is nicer, but still nothing outstanding. It is a bit bitter, with some grassy notes, peppery belgian yeast, not a ton of the fruitiness that I associate with the style. Mouthfeel is nice. Light to medium, good carbonation, refreshing and enjoyable. I very much like this beer, but it is not outstanding.

 561 characters

Photo of Treebs
3.57/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle served in a FFF pint glass.

A: Pours a clear golden yellow with a half finger pure white head forming on the pour. The head recedes quickly to a very thin ring.

S: Yeast, light fruity esters, some wheat and pale malts all fill the nose at once.

T: Some peppery yeast and some fruitiness are up front. The pale malts and light grassy hops shine mid-palate. There is some light creamy wheat is on the finish.

M: Light and creamy in the mouth. The carbonation is medium and the finish is wheaty and fruity. The drinkability is high.

O: A very solid beer. Nice combination of yeast, fruity esters, wheat and malt. The creamy texture is nice and I could drink multiples of this on a hot summer day.

 713 characters

Photo of Mora2000
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a yellow color with a white head. The aroma has a lot of Belgian yeast as well as some biscuit malt. The flavor is more complex. I get some nice yeast and orange citrus notes, as well as some coriander. There is also some sweetness from the biscuit malt. The alcohol is also noticeable. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

 342 characters

Photo of KDawg
3.62/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured from bomber into a tulip. Pours a clear gold color with a small head

nicely balanced with good depth and aromas of creams, oranges, hops, florals and some spice tones. Good complexity with good depth as well

medium/full bodied with a good smooth feel. It is lacking a bit though on the mid and not really fat either on the attack. Good balance with nice flavors of oranges, creams and some spices

The aromas are sadly much better than the feel and flavors. A good beer nonetheless, but I was hoping for a bit more from half acre here

 543 characters

Photo of Canada_Dan
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

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Cipher from Half Acre Beer Company
Beer rating: 56.4% out of 100 with 55 ratings
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